Intermediate and Advanced Courses

232. Ancient Greek Philosophy. (3h) Study of the central figures in early Greek philosophy, beginning with the Presocratics, focusing primarily on Plato and Aristotle, and concluding with a brief survey of some Hellenistic philosophers. P—One PHI course or POI.
237. Medieval Philosophy. (3h) Survey of some major philosophers from Augustine to Suarez, including Anselm, Averroes, Maimonides, Avicenna, Aquinas, Scotus and Ockham. P—One PHI course or POI.214
241. Modern Philosophy. (3h) Study of the works of influential 17th- and 18th-century European philosophers such as Descartes, Locke, Leibniz, Berkeley, and Hume, with a concentration on theories of knowledge and metaphysics. P—One PHI course or POI.
280. Topics in Philosophy. (1-3h) Seminar and/or lecture course in selected topics. May be repeated if course title differs. P—One PHI course or POI.
331. Plato. (3h) Detailed analysis of selected dialogues, covering Plato’s most important contributions to moral and political philosophy, theory of knowledge, metaphysics, and theology. P—One PHI course or POI.
332. Aristotle. (3h) Study of the major texts, with emphasis on metaphysics, ethics, and theory of knowledge. P—One PHI course (232 or 331 strongly recommended) or POI.
341. Kant. (3h) Study of Kant’s principal contributions to metaphysics and the theory of knowledge. P—One PHI course (241 strongly recommended) or POI.
342. Topics in Modern Philosophy. (3h) Treatment of selected figures and/or themes in 17th- and 18th-century European philosophy. P—One PHI course (241 strongly recommended) or POI.
352. 19th-Century European Philosophy: Hegel, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche. (3h) Is there a way to think about the natural world that also makes sense of human life and history? Is anything gained, or lost, by thinking holistically about the world as a whole? Is a life dedicated to thinking about the world (and living accordingly) a way of avoiding an authentic human life? What does it mean to live authentically? Does nihilism provide the answer or is it a form of avoidance? P—One PHI course or POI.
353. Heidegger. (3h) Heidegger early and late. Early Heidegger: the contrast between conformism and authenticity achieved through ‘being-towards-death’; meaning through communal tradition. Late Heidegger: critique of modernity’s reduction of everything to ‘resource’; the ethics of ‘dwelling’ as our proper way of being in the world. P—One PHI course or POI.
354. Wittgenstein. (3h) Study of the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein on such topics as the picture theory of meaning, truth, skepticism, private languages, thinking, feeling, the mystical, and the ethical. P—One PHI course (221 strongly recommended) or POI.
355. Contemporary Philosophy. (3h) Study of the principal works of several representative 20th-century philosophers. P—One PHI course (221 strongly recommended) or POI.
356. 20th-Century European Philosophy: Heidegger, Gadamer, Adorno, Habermas. (3h)  Issues covered include: the difference between authentic and inauthentic life, the ethics of ‘dwelling’, the nature of interpretation, the critique of the effects of capitalism on modern society and culture, and the defense of reason as a basis of social life against ‘postmodernism’. P—One PHI course or POI.
360. Ethics. (3h) Systematic examination of central ethical theories in the Western philosophical tradition. Such theories include Kantian deontology, utilitarianism, Aristotelian virtue ethics, and divine command theory. P—One PHI course or POI.
361. Topics in Ethics. (3h) P—One PHI course or POI.
362. Social and Political Philosophy. (3h) A systematic examination of the work of selected contemporary and traditional philosophers on topics such as the state, the family, distributive justice, property, liberty, and the common good. P—One PHI course or POI.215
363. Philosophy of Law. (3h) Inquiry into the nature of law and its relation to morality. Classroom discussions of readings from the works of classical and modern authors focus on issues of contemporary concern involving questions of legal principle, personal liberty, human rights, responsibility, justice, and punishment. P—One PHI course or POI.
364. Freedom, Action, and Responsibility. (3h) Study of the nature of human freedom and related matters in the philosophy of action, metaphysics, and moral philosophy. P—One PHI course or POI.
366. Global Justice. (3h) Does justice transcend national boundaries? Topics include citizenship, national sovereignty, war, human rights, humanitarian concerns, distribution of resources and burdens, and international law. P—One PHI course or POI.
367. Philosophical Theories in Bioethics. (3h) A study of the main philosophical approaches to contemporary bioethics. Each approach is examined critically and students explore how each approach informs analysis of contemporary issues in bioethics. P—One PHI course or POI.
368. Concepts of Health and Disease. (3h) Concepts of health, disease, and disability shape discussions in bioethics and health policy. This course examines and critically evaluates competing conceptions of health and disease. The implications of adopting different understandings of health and disease for bioethics and health policy are explored. P—One PHI course or POI.
370. Philosophy and Christianity. (3h) Examines the philosophical foundations of Christian thought and belief. Christian concepts of God and life everlasting, trinity, incarnation, atonement, prayer, sin, evil and obligation. P—One PHI course or POI.
371. Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art. (3h) Covers such questions as: What is beauty? What is taste? What is art? Must art be beautiful? Can immoral art be good art? Readings may cover historical figures such as Plato or Kant, or may focus on contemporary writers. P—One PHI course or POI.
372. Philosophy of Religion. (3h) What is religion? Are the gods dead? Is God dead? Is religious belief a symptom of an underlying human weakness or biological process, or could it be a response to the sacred? Must believers rely on something less than knowledge? Are philosophical proofs the way to knowledge of God? What sort of problem is the “problem of evil” and what is its significance? How are religious beliefs like and unlike metaphysical, moral, and modern scientific beliefs? P—One PHI course or POI.
373. Philosophy of Science. (3h) Systematic and critical examination of major views concerning the methods of scientific inquiry, and the bases, goals, and implications of the scientific conclusions which result from such inquiry. P—One PHI course or POI.
374. Philosophy of Mind. (3h) Selection from the following topics: the mind-body problem; personal identity; the unity of consciousness; minds and machines; the nature of experience; action, intention, and the will. P—One PHI course or POI.
375. Philosophy of Language. (3h) Study of such philosophical issues about language as truth and meaning, reference and description, proper names, indexicals, modality, tense, the semantical paradoxes, and the differences between languages and other sorts of sign systems. Also listed as LIN 375. P—One PHI course (221 strongly recommended) or POI. 216
376. Epistemology. (3h) The sources, scope and structure of human knowledge. Topics include: skepticism; perception, memory, and reason; the definition of knowledge; the nature of justification; theories of truth. P—One PHI course or POI.
377. Metaphysics. (3h) Survey of such issues as the nature and existence of properties, possibility and necessity, time and persistence, causation, freedom and determinism, and dualism versus materialism about the human person. P—One PHI course or POI.
378. Philosophy of Space and Time. (3h) Philosophical thought about space and time, from the Presocratics to the present. Topics may include the reality of the passage of time, paradoxes of change and motion, puzzles about the awareness of time, spacetime and relativity, and the possibility of time-travel. P—One PHI course or POI.
379. Feminist Philosophy. (3h) Examines feminist approaches to philosophical theorizing. Topics may include feminist critiques of the scope and methods of mainstream philosophy, feminist approaches to ethics, epistemology and philosophy of language, and feminist conceptions of the self, sexuality, and moral agency. Also listed as WGS 240. P—One PHI course or POI.
385. Seminar. (3h) Offered by members of the faculty on specialized topics of their choice. With permission, may be repeated for credit. P—POI.
391. Honors I. (1.5h) Directed study and research in preparation for writing an honors thesis. P—Admission to the honors program in philosophy.
392. Honors II. (1.5h) Completion of the honors thesis begun in PHI 391. Graduation with honors in philosophy requires successful defense of the honors thesis in an oral examination conducted by at least two members of the department. P—PHI 391.
395. Independent Study. (1-3h)  Note that no more than 3 hours of independent study may be counted towards the major.